Puzzlement: Leadership Game


A Game for Three or More Players

Anyone who has held a leadership position knows that leaders must often sail stormy seas, but he also knows that there is great satisfaction at the end of a successful voyage. The New Era cordially invites you to set sail for the beautiful shores of Leaderland, across the dreadful deeps of delegation, aboard the sturdy LDS Leader Ship. You will have to navigate reefs of responsibility, shoals of soul-searching, and hurricanes of hard decisions, but at the end of the perilous quest, you’ll know the ropes of effective leadership.

You will be paid for your seamanship with authentic New Era leaderchips, which you will earn by your astute decisions in leadership situations. The captain who finishes the game with the most leaderchips becomes the “Admirable” of the fleet.

How to Play

Before play begins, the Captain’s Log cards should be shuffled and stacked face down in one pile and the Time Tempest cards in another. Each player’s Leader Ship should be placed in Hopeful Harbor, and the leaderchips placed in some central spot.

The play will begin with the player whose surname is first alphabetically and will proceed to his left around the group. The player begins by drawing a Captain’s Log card from the top of the stack and reading it out loud. In a two-minute time limit he must then tell what he would do in the situation described. When he has given his response, the other players will evaluate its soundness based on this issue of the New Era and their personal experience. Each of them will then hold up an evaluation card numbered “one,” “two,” “three,” or “four,” four being a perfect score. The player will add the numbers shown and move forward that number of spaces. For example, if there were three other players, and they held up a four, a three, and a two, the player would move forward nine spaces. He is also awarded one leaderchip for each number four he receives in the evaluation. He is penalized one leaderchip for each number one he receives. If he has no leaderchips, he simply says so and the penalty is waived. Each player will be responsible for collecting and returning his own leaderchips.

Explanations

Each player awarding less than a four for a decision must explain what he felt was lacking or incorrect in the answer.

Lifeboat

Once during a game each player may refuse to answer a Captain’s Log card that he feels is too difficult for him by calling out “Lifeboat!” The other players will then explain to him some ways in which he might have answered the question, and the player will stay where he is for that turn, earning no leaderchips and losing none. The play will then proceed to the player on his left as usual. Each player who does not use the lifeboat option during the game will receive one bonus leaderchip at the end of the game.

Crisis Squares

Whenever a player lands on a Crisis Square, he will immediately draw another Captain’s Log card and read it out loud. He then has 15 seconds to give his response. The other players will evaluate his answer as usual, and he will add only the number fours he has received and advance that number of spaces. He will collect one leaderchip for each number four he receives. He will be penalized one leaderchip for each number one or two he receives.

Time Tempest Squares

Leaders often get into rough waters because of their mismanagement of time. Time Tempest squares represent that mistake. When a player lands on a Time Tempest square, he may immediately trade in leaderchips in exchange for additional moves, one move per chip, to escape the tempest. If he has no leaderchips or chooses not to use them, he must draw a Time Tempest card and do what it says.

Additional Moves

At any time during his turn (except when he has drawn a Time Tempest card and hasn’t fulfilled its instructions yet), a player may trade leaderchips for additional moves, one chip per move. A player may never take fewer moves than he earns on an evaluation.

End of Game

When the first player reaches Leaderland, the game is over, and the winner is the player with the most leaderchips. The first player to reach Leaderland receives five bonus leaderchips.

Evaluations

This game will not work unless you give honest and thoughtful evaluations. You must not give a low evaluation in order to help yourself, nor should you give a high evaluation just to be kind. Evaluate answers carefully, listening especially for specific steps and principles. Vague, general answers like “I’d just teach them to be more dependable” should earn no more than a number one. A better answer would be “I’d teach him to be more dependable by sitting down and asking what he recommends, writing down the steps we agree on, and setting a day, time, and place for a complete report. I’d also be ready to show great love and give honest praise when the task is complete.” The player should also explain what he would do if the less-than-dependable follower had no recommendations, and perhaps point out some resources other than his personal help that he could make available to his follower. If any important aspects of the problem are overlooked, or if the solution raises problems that are not solved, the evaluators cannot award a four. Ask yourself if the answer is (a) specific, (b) realistic, (c) complete, (d) based on correct principles, (e) practical, or (f) just a “snow job.” Be suspicious of answers that recommend simply talking to someone to solve a problem. Before awarding a four to such an answer, be sure that there is nothing else that could have been done in addition to talking, and that the answer explained specifically what was to be said in the talk.

New Captain’s Log Cards

When you have played the game often enough to be well acquainted with all the cards, you can create new Captain’s Log cards on index cards, perhaps emphasizing leadership problems that you are facing in your own area. One of your adult leaders might also be willing to make up some new cards.

Preparing the Game

Take the game insert out of the magazine and paste it to a piece of poster board. (Your meetinghouse librarian might be willing to do this for you on the dry-mount press.) Then cut out along all the lines.

We strongly advise you to invite your advisers or other leaders to be present as observers when you play the game. They may be able to add valuable insights after each set of evaluations.

If you need more leaderchips than are included in this magazine, you can obtain them from a friend’s copy of the June New Era.

Bon Voyage!

[illustrations] Puzzle Pieces and Board